Griffins win first-ever PSAC baseball championship

The Seton Hill University baseball team huddles together before one of their regular season games. In May, the Griffins won their first-ever PSAC championship by defeating Mercyhurst University by a final score of 20-6. Photo by D.Clark/Setonian.

The Seton Hill University spring sports for the 2017 season have all ended. An impressive run from the baseball team is something to note as the team barely made the PSAC tournament and ended up running away with their first-ever title, routing Mercyhurst University 20-6.

“In my four years here, this tournament was the most fun that I have had in a Seton Hill uniform,” said MP Buckley, a redshirt junior first baseman. “The belief, energy and grit that our team produced provided the most intense setting that I have ever played in. It is honestly a blessing to be a part of the first baseball team and first team at Seton Hill to win a PSAC championship.”

Through their series of wins throughout the PSAC tournament, the Griffins were able to make their eighth straight NCAA regional appearance where they faced the sixth seed Shepherd Rams in Jamestown, N.Y. The Griffins did fall in this matchup, and they fell in their final matchup of the season to Winston-Salem State University in the elimination matchup.

“Winning [a PSAC championship] is so exciting and addicting, so I think I speak for myself and the team in saying that we definitely want another one next year,” said junior third baseman Tom McCarthy. “Our goals for next season are to win the regional and to win a national championship.”

Junior third baseman Tom McCarthy slides as he tries to beat the throw to the base. McCarthy, who was a first team ABCA/Rawlings All Region Selection, tied for first place on the team with a batting average of .379 and led the team in hits with 72 this season. Photo by D.Clark/Setonian.

SHU has made quite the impact in their region as they have made the tournament for the past eight years. The route of Mercyhurst is something to take note of since the Lakers were able to grab the number one seed in the Atlantic Regional tournament and they were the top team in the PSAC championships. The Griffins were able to prove themselves late in the season with their first-ever tournament championship against a strong opponent in the Mercyhurst Lakers.

“What makes this all even better, and something that we can cherish even more, is that we were an underdog who came out on top,” Buckley said. “Moving forward, we now know what it takes to win a championship and are only striving for more.”

The team was able to accumulate a few other prestigious awards such as Men’s Team of the Year at the first ever Griffin Sports Awards sponsored by the Seton Hill Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Individual awards were relevant as well, as McCarthy was a first team ABCA/Rawlings All Region Selection while freshman outfielder Craig Lewis was named to the second team.

“What made this season so awesome was being able to be around such a great group of teammates,” McCarthy said. “We take a lot of pride in playing for one another and always being selfless.”

Junior outfielder Mark Colella prepares for the pitch from his opponent. Colella finished in third for the most hits on the team this season with 62. Photo by D.Clark/Setonian.

“The bond that we have with each other is what made this season so great,” Buckley said. “We truly are all brothers and look out for one another. We knew that we had to come together and get closer than ever in order to be great and we did that.”

From an average postseason to a spectacular finish, the baseball team was able to eclipse a record of 36-20 and hopes to roll into the 2018 season with newcomers and contributors from this season aiding the efforts for next year.

“I could write a book about what I learned this year,” Buckley said. “The most prominent learning point for me is to never be content with what you have. Always strive for more and never stop going after what you want.”

Article contribution by Haley Carnahan and Paige Parise.

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